Travel Planning During a Pandemic
As the world opens up again, travel looks a lot different than it did before Covid. Gone are the days you can throw things in a bag and run to the airport a couple of hours before your flight. With the ever-changing landscape of travel these days, we’ve put together a few Covid Travel Tips to get you prepared for your next international trip, whenever you are ready to go!
Here are a few travel tips that are tried and true when you are planning and preparing for your trip during these wild times.
Flexibility in bookings and flights
When you are booking your flights, make sure you look at the flexibility of the ticket. Earlier in the pandemic, airlines wanted to get bookings, so they were quite flexible with changes. Since travel has resumed in many places, tickets are becoming restrictive again. Always check the flexibility of the tickets, and we recommend at least booking a fare with one free change. This way, if something comes up and you’re uncomfortable with traveling at the time you’re supposed to, you’ll have some breathing room. Best to book directly with the airlines instead of using a 3rd party booking system which can be a nightmare to deal with if you have to change your flights.
Check the entry requirements
Entry requirements around the world are constantly changing, so be sure to check the entry requirements of the country you’re traveling to when you book your trip and check again before you go. As travel starts up again, many countries require only a vaccination record, however, some still do require a PCR or antigen test to enter. Make sure you check what is required, and if you do require a negative test, we recommend booking it well ahead of time.
Things will change – itinerary, flights
Since supply and demand for travel, particularly flights, is still tricky for the industry to figure out, there have been countless schedule and itinerary changes over the past several months. So even if you’re organized and like to plan your schedule ahead of time, be prepared for flight cancellations, date changes, and time changes. Just roll with the punches, and everything will work out just fine.
Make sure you have appropriate Travel Insurance
We have always recommended that you book travel insurance, however, it is more important now than ever to have good travel insurance when you are abroad. A few companies offer Covid medical insurance, which covers your medical expenses abroad if you have to be treated for Covid. It also covers medical coverage if anything else unexpected happens, so just make sure you’re covered.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance is a different story when it comes to Covid. Since it is a known event, you won’t be able to cancel your trip if you decide not to travel due to Covid-19. However, you may be able to claim your trip expenses back if you get Covid, or test positive for Covid before your trip, and are unable to travel. Have questions about travel insurance for your trip? Feel free to contact us – https://finisterra.ca/travel-insurance/!
On The Road
Get to the airport early
With all of the additional screening and checking for Covid tests and proof of vaccination, things at airports can take a lot longer than they previously did. Most airlines are also not allowing people to do their online check-in for international flights, so you’ll have to do it at the airport. Please give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and comfortably get through to your departure gate. We would recommend a minimum of 3 hours early. This is also recommended if you have a domestic connection before your international flight (ie. you are flying to Toronto before onwards to Europe). You still have to go through the same screening process, so even though you check-in at the domestic terminal, there can be long wait times.
Print a copy of your proof of important docs
For the time being, the Canadian vaccination records aren’t immediately recognized in places like the EU. However, your records are valid for travel. Just make sure you print a copy of the actual doses you received, and the dates you received them. It just makes things go a lot more smoothly while traveling through airports. If you are required to get a PCR test, we also recommend that you print the results and take them with you, for ease of travel through the airport.
It’s also good to email yourself all of your important documents including your Passport, vaccination card, healthcare card, etc, so that you will always have access to them. Canadians returning to home will also need to download their ArriveCan App as well as their Canadian Vaccine Passport.
Respect the local rules
Rules and regulations are different everywhere, so make sure you have a look at what they are before you travel to that place, and make sure you respect them. You may be comfortable traveling, but others may not be there yet. Everyone moves at a different pace, and are at different comfort levels, so just be sure to be courteous and respectful to the locals of the place you are visiting.
Bring extra masks for the journey
We try to use reusable masks whenever we can, in order to reduce the amount of waste we produce. However, if you have a few masks, bring them all. It is recommended to change your mask every four hours while traveling. You will thank us when you are on a 10 hour flight.
Also be sure to pack little hand sanitizers in all of your bags, so you have them handy whenever you need them.
Traveling is one of the most incredible things you can do, and it is such a treat to be able to get back on the road. Even with the added uncertainty and stress that can come with traveling in a post-Covid world, it is absolutely worth it to be out on the world again. Enjoy every minute of it, and don’t take it for granted, as you never know what could happen!
Ultimately, we want you to have peace of mind when you come with us. And we’ll do everything we can to secure that. We fully understand that these are uncertain times that we are living in and the picture is constantly and rapidly changing. Please note that you can make a risk-free deposit with us that is fully refundable in most cases (minus the transaction fee of 5%) up to 30 days before departure or postpone at any time for free.
Since most of our trips are custom designed, we’re assessing the options and taking into account where we need to leave things open, remain flexible, or perhaps put two solutions in place. Our partners around the globe are also fully aware of the situation which is why having long-standing business relationships built on trust really works for all sides, just as we saw in early 2020 when we had to postpone/rebook/cancel hundreds of trips.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding our Covid-19 policies.
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